Miami-Dade Mayor lifts curfew, plans to reopen beaches Wednesday

MIAMI (WSVN) - Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez has lifted a curfew established during recent daily protests against police violence.

The curfew was tied to keeping beaches closed in the county, which had already been long closed due to social distancing concerns with the coronavirus pandemic.

Gimenez made the announcement to finally reopen beaches by Wednesday during a Monday afternoon press conference.

Later that afternoon, Gimenez’s office released a statement confirming the county-wide curfew would be lifted Monday.

However, opening the beaches would take a little more time.

Gimenez said, “We need a little bit of time get people prepared to open up the beaches. So, I want to do that no later than Wednesday.”

Miami Beach residents and visitors who spoke with 7News said they’re thrilled with the news.

“I’m excited. Yes, I look forward to going to the beaches,” said Naimah Muhammad, who is visiting from Chicago.

“I would say it’s about time,” said a man.

“I am so excited that things are getting back to normal, I think people need normalcy right now,” said Andrea York, who is visiting from Los Angeles.

The beaches were originally supposed to open on June 1, but that date was pushed back due to the protests and looting that took place the weekend before opening day.

Meanwhile, gyms in Miami-Dade were finally allowed to reopen on Monday after a two-month hiatus.

But fitness center members will immediately notice several changes the moment they walk in the door of gyms like Adapt in North Miami.

“We placed our 10-foot distance for our classes and even into our gym area,” said Jorge Sanchez, Adapt’s co-owner. “We’ve also shut down our showers, our sauna, our cold climbs, our locker rooms as well.”

Summer camps also got back to business on Monday, but now social distancing is the name of the game.

Karla Creque, senior director of youth and family services at YMCA of South Florida, said they’re doing everything they can to keep children safe.

“The kids have been home, in virtual school since the beginning of March, so we have taken every precaution: smaller groups, sanitizing, the gym is closed, just for campers,” she said.

While the countdown continues for Miami-Dade beaches to reopen, there are safety guidelines beachgoers need to follow.

“Is it safe for me to go to the beach? There’s a lot of things going through my head right now,” said Muhammad.

Requirements:

  • No groups of more than 10 people
  • Beachgoers must have facial coverings available (must be worn when social distancing of 6 feet cannot be achieved, except for members of the same household)
  • Facial coverings must be worn in restrooms and concessions
  • No coolers
  • No floats

Activities Permitted:

  • Walking (with face covering if social distancing cannot be maintained) and jogging (with face covering lowered and with joggers maintaining a social distance of 12 to 15 feet)
  • Established pathways will be made one-way
  • Swimming/surfing (body, kite)/paddle-boarding/kayaking
  • Sunbathing or sitting on individually-owned beach chairs and/or beach towels, where permitted – a minimum of 6 feet apart
  • Eating among members of the same household (up to 10 people)
  • Outdoor showers may be used as long as social distancing is maintained; mark the approach leading to outdoor shower pads to enforce 6 feet social distancing amongst beachgoers waiting to use the showers
  • If surf or beach conditions at a beach become too dangerous, it will be closed for water activities

Activities not Permitted:

  • No shared equipment (i.e. beach chairs, umbrellas, coolers, ) among people from different households
  • No canopies or tents
  • No organized or group activities and athletics involving groups of two or more (for example, volleyball, football, soccer, frisbee, paddle ball, )
  • No gatherings of people from different households, unless social distancing guidelines are maintained – group size shall not exceed 10 persons at any time
  • Areas of social gathering in beach parks, including bathhouses (changing rooms), picnic pavilions, playgrounds are not to be accessible
  • No special events, including group picnics
  • No use of exercise equipment and playgrounds
  • No dogs/pets on the beach
  • No fishing on the beach, except at areas specifically designated and while following social distance guidelines
  • Eliminate the use of common water fountains and interactive displays

As the Sunshine State slowly continues to reopen, experts said the number of new COVID-19 cases may be cause for concern.

“People are moving around more. We’re starting to see more disease transmission,” said Dr. Glenn Morris with the University of Florida’s Emerging Pathogens Institute. “It’s been great to see the increase of economic activity, but I will have to say that the accompanying gradual increase in case numbers is of concern.”‘

Starting Wednesday, beaches in Miami-Dade will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. For more information, click here.

Anyone with questions and concerns about the coronavirus can call the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-779-6121.

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